Waiting for the Promise of Commander Andika’s Strategy to Handle the Earth Papua Conflict

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Waiting for the Promise of Commander Andika's Strategy to Handle the Earth Papua Conflict

The TNI Commander’s baton has officially moved from Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto to General Andika Perkasa.

Andika was inaugurated by the President of the Republic of Indonesia Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on Wednesday (17/11). Andika then handed over the position with Marshal Hadi on Thursday (18/11) at TNI Headquarters, Cilangkap, East Jakarta.

At the Presidential Palace, after being sworn in by Jokowi, Andika revealed a number of promises and plans for future work evaluations when he took office.

In his speech, Andika said that he would improve the internal affairs of the Indonesian military during his tenure for the next year. In addition, he also promised to evaluate the Polda’s approach to security in Papua. Andika wants to show that security treatment in Papua can be carried out as the military works in other provinces in Indonesia.

Andika’s good intentions are considered to be the answer to the security issue in Papua, which often becomes a polemic and even becomes an obstacle for a dialogical approach to resolve the Papuan problem.

Military researcher from the Institute for Security and Strategic Studies (ISESS), Khairul Fahmi said Andika had an important task to be able to make a breakthrough that was different from his predecessors in dealing with Papua.

Khairul emphasized that the military in Papua must have sensitivity and legal compliance so that there are no violations that will later be counterproductive to the policies of the TNI leadership.

“Especially for the personnel on duty in Papua, there is an increase in integrity, or an increase in awareness, or an increase in legal compliance,” said Khairul, Thursday (11/18).

This is because, he said, the military is often the perpetrator of crimes against civilians in Papua. He gave an example of the violence of the apparatus which protracted its action, and the case of buying and selling weapons involving soldiers.

In addition, Khairul also reminded that the militaristic approach in Papua must be reduced slowly. According to him, Andika’s vision of seeing Papua must be in line with the government’s policy in responding to the easternmost region in Indonesia.

So that the apparatus, he said, can take on other assignments in supporting the government’s performance to develop Papua. For example, by strengthening intelligence and information gathering in Papua so that local people’s expectations can be aligned with government policies.

“The TNI supports it, previously it may have been more prioritized, maybe now there are things that the TNI is no longer in front of but becomes a supporter,” said Fahmi.

“Especially related to dialogue, for example, things that are indeed the domain or domain of other ministries or institutions, of course the front ones are these other ministries or institutions,” he added.

According to Khairul, it is necessary to disseminate strong positive propaganda based on the reality in Papua. So, in the future, problems with a militaristic approach and excessive security will no longer be a problem there.

Andika’s enthusiasm to evaluate military performance in Papua is in line with the request made by General Dudung Abdurachman who replaced him in the position of Army Chief of Staff (KSAD).

He asked the Army soldiers to be professional and not to do things that hurt the Papuan people. When they moved top leadership in the military, indeed the issue of Papua was one of the things they highlighted. In fact, Papua was also the focus of General Andika Perkasa’s work during the fit and proper test at the DPR RI.

Andika’s spirit, he said, must be maximized in the 13 months he served as Commander in Chief. The four-star general must at least provide an initial stage to resolve security issues in Papua with all existing evaluations.

“So, we will be able to see the Papua region gradually improving its security situation. The pattern of security, the pattern of approach taken by the TNI in the Papua region will gradually be equivalent to what is applied in other regions in Indonesia,” he said.